4 days ago my Ex-company lost a great guy.


Let me tell you the story of him.

Almost two years ago he joined the company. Fresh, full of energy ready to change the world.
He’s a passionate guy, motivated, willing to learn.
He joined the company because he could identify with it, the Mission the values everything seemed to fit perfectly. And he wanted to learn from the great experience that others had aquired before him so he could grow and get better while working with people.

To give you a bit better understanding about the backgrounds of his decision to leave the company let me quickly introduce to you the 10 intrinsic motivators that have been called CHAMPFROGS by Jurgen Appelo.

Intrinsic Motivators


His personal Motivators in priority order

1. Mastery -> Honor -> Curiosity -> Goal -> Relatedness -> Freedom -> Autonomy -> Power -> Order -> 10. Status

As an Scrum Master/Agile Coach in an ever-changing world it is incredibly important for him to stay up to date with the latest and greatest, this is why Mastery is the most important for him.
Honor in the form of being honest and open with the people he works with is one of his key personal values and non-negotiable like quality in Agile Software development.
Curiosity is the driver for Mastery, without it no continuous improvement.
Working without having a Goal is like trying to reach a Mountaintop without choosing the right path beforehand. It might get you there but is highly unrealistic.
Relatedness is extremely important for someone who works with people. If the way of how a Coach works and the content provided doesn’t fit the audience then it doesn’t matter how competent one is in terms of Mastery.
Freedom is one of the core values of Scrum and the agile way of working. Self-organisation is the expression of that. Thus it’s important for someone working agile.
Autonomy is closely related with freedom but should be a given in an agile environment.
Power is not that important, although being respected and heard is important as a Scrum Master or Agile Coach.
Order is a temporary illusion in an ever changing world.
Status in the end is the last important thing for him since leadership is always the result of the right behaviour and not the position in the hierarchy.

Why he couldn’t stay

Mastery – growing the individual was somehow supported but only on a personal level, not organisation wide
Honor – Being completely open and honest was not possible due to hierarchical structures and the lack of feedback mechanisms
Curiosity – He couldn’t do the things interesting for him since he always had to jump in where the fire in the company was burning highest
Goal – Even though goals were defined together with his superiors he still wasn’t able to achieve any of them since the companies needs were put before the individuals goals
Relatedness – this one was fulfilled since he got good feedback from the teams he was working with
Autonomy – Since he was mostly told what to do it was difficult to get things going. Often new ideas and improvements were actively blocked by management.
Power – the feedback he gave was rarely heard. So it was hard to improve anything
Order – the given order was pushed on everything that had to be done, even if it might have not been the right thing to do. He hated that.
Status – Even though his status rised while working in the company due to the good feedback, he still didn’t care since he couldn’t really achieve what he came for

So why did I share all of that with you?
Isn’t money and status a big enough motivator to keep knowledge workers happy?
As you can see in the example above, it is not that easy depending on the values and needs of each individual.

If you wonder who the guy was… it’s me. (don’t worry, I don’ think I’m great but it sounds better as introduction, no? 😉

I’d be interested to hear from your own experience how companies can do better in motivating people and also what you think about the CHAMPFROGS approach to define the intrinsic motivators.
Please leave a comment or contact me on google+ or @MrSnow76.

Thx for reading,
Sven Schnee aka MrSnow76

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